I suppose I have the phony political smile in mind. Close the gap between who you are at home and in ministry, and close it fast. Repent of the difference and ask for your family to forgive you. Open repentance works well to create a do-over expectation for you and those around you.
2- Make the worlds most exciting story, boring:
If your kids think you’re boring, so does everyone else, but they just aren’t telling you. Your kids will tell you, ask them. You are their quick track to knowing the Bible. You make it boring and methodical, and they will take that with them into the rest of their lives.
3- Be unimaginably stressed out by doing “God’s work”:
My son told me on the way to school recently that he’s planning on being a police officer, and that is going to be much harder than what I do. After asking him what he thinks I do, he says, “You talk and pray, how hard is that”. I suppose I agree. I do “Talk” and “Pray”. Here’s the insider info. He said “pray” because I pray for them before they leave for school. I pray for them before they go to sleep. I pray for them throughout the day, and that’s just them. He recognized that I do a lot of praying. My guess is not everyone in ministry would have a child say that.
The less you pray, the more you’ll work. Sounds weird, but it’s true.
Think about how God designed life to show relational importance. Your family is the closest to ground zero and gets the most damage when you struggle in ministry. If you drop everything for everyone, except your family, you send a loud and clear message that your family is low priority. Ultimately, you’re no different than the career oriented family sacrificer in any other profession. Ministry is not a profession, it’s a calling. If it’s primarily a profession to you, you will eventually act like it.
5- Go to church non-stop:
But the puritans went to church everyday, right? Why can’t we keep Sunday, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and Tuesday/Thursday Bible group times. Wow, that wears me out just typing it. Keep ministry simple. On Sunday, worship together, Monday through Saturday, live together. Not in the same house or anything. Just do normal natural life together.
If ministry is like constant grinding gears for you, you’re missing something. That doesn’t mean you should walk away, but it might. Realize God is in control, He loves you, and He didn’t give you this life to be miserable or to make others miserable.
My son was right, I just talk and pray, but I do pray. The quickest way to relieve the pressure of ministry is to be the boldest and most often prayer in the room.